As Old Blues Eyes, Frank Sinatra, sang over and again;
“I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this, I did it my way”
And so is the case for one of the latest creations to come out of Oscar Valladares, the man, who with Island Jim Robinson, brought us the Leaf. This time he worked with his master blender Bayron Duarte, to create a rather unique cigar that applies the wrapper leaf inside out and wrapped backwards. It literally goes against the grain, which I learned from an old Cuban friend and master roller, is …well.. sacrilegious! But magically the team made it work. The result of this craft is known as the My Way by Bayron Duarte and yes, Oscar and Bayron did it their way!
The My Way by Bayron Duarte was introduced at the 2017 IPCPR and announced as a very limited production of only 1,000 20-count boxes with a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Mexico San Andres
- Binder – Honduras
- Filler – Honduras and Nicaragua
There are four vitolas in the line:
- Gordito – 4 x 60 (MSRP $7.90)
- Gran Toro – 6 x 54 (MSRP $8.35)
- Gordo – 6 x 60 (MSRP $8.80)
- HD – 7 x 66 (MSRP $10.15)
I found these available on the LeafAffair.com
For this review I sampled the My Way Gordito which I received from Oscar at the IPCPR for reviewing on StogiePress.
The wrapper on the My Way by Bayron Duarte is a dark tan, veiny, and blotchy leaf. The wrapper has a deep oily sheen to it and a bit of tooth. The cigar is finished with a double cap that seems to use a darker leaf than the wrapper.
The band on the cigar is bold in design and covers a good portion of the Gordito. The words “my Way” are printed across it script font and below is the name “Bayron Duarte” giving credit to the master blender himself.
I sliced the cap with my Colibri double blade cutter and gave it some cold draw puffs. The draw had a decent restriction to it and offered notes of earth and pepper.
With the preliminary examination out-of-the-way, it was time to fire this up and see what happens.
- Will it burn right?
- Will it explode?
- Will the flavors be pleasant?
There is only one way to know, read on as I put the flame to it, and the answer will be found.
Cigar Review Notes
- Ouch! Early pepper hits the nasal and throat right off the first light
- Medium grey ash develops resting on a thick and wavy char line
- Coffee and citrus breaks through once the pepper fades after 1/4 inch of burn
- Although the band was big, it removed easily – thank goodness
- Floral fruit aroma evolves
- Burn is trying to find its way on this little fatty
- The shaft gets a bit springy after an inch of burn
- Glistening wrapper near the burn line – tooth is more exposed as it heats up
- Cocoa notes enter after an inch
- Burn took a touch up – I loved how the tooth sparked under the flame
- Ash is holding tight and there is a full volume of smoke being produced
- Toasty cracker notes enter
- A hint of honey enters to give the cracker a graham cracker taste
- Spice enters overlaying the cracker and citrus
- Earth shifts back into the profile by the halfway point
- Smoke is much smoother in second half
- Flavors have blended well at this point
- Cocoa, spice, honey, and citrus are firing on all cylinders
- there is a gentle burn on the nasal near the end
- Smoke does get hot near the nub
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was just around one hour
Overall, the My Way by Bayron Duarte Gordito was a surprise cigar, as it delivered an incredible profile of flavors in a short cigar. I was surprised how well the cigar burned as it carried a long ash. Maybe my old Cuban friend was wrong about how to wrap a cigar as Oscar and Bayron proved that it can be done if you know what you are doing. It may be uncommon but it worked. I am curious about the other vitolas and if you have tried any please comment and let us know what your experience was.